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New study may explain how weight-loss surgery reverses type 2 diabetes
Date:3/24/2010

cretion and insulin sensitivity, thereby helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.

To test the hypothesis, the researchers carried out a surgical procedure known as ileal interposition in a line of rats that were predisposed to obesity and type 2 diabetes. The rat model, developed in Havel's laboratory, was known as the UC Davis Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (UCD-T2DM) Rat. The pathology of type 2 diabetes in these animals is more similar to type 2 diabetes in humans than other existing rodent models of the disease.

The ileal interposition procedure involves relocating a short portion of the small intestine known as the ileum further forward in the intestinal tract. Then the researchers compared how long it took for the animals to develop diabetes, compared with a control group of rats that had surgery but without rearrangement of the intestines.

They found that the rats receiving the ileal interposition surgery developed type 2 diabetes 120 days later than did the rats in the control group. Furthermore, by the time the rats were one year old, 78 percent of the control group rats were diabetic while only 38 percent of the rats that had received the ileal interposition procedure had developed diabetes.

Havel said the delay in onset of diabetes in the rats would be similar to delaying the age of onset of diabetes by approximately 10 years in a person, which would be expected to significantly decrease the amount of time for diabetic complications to develop, and to reduce the health care costs associated with treating this costly and prevalent disease.

The researchers also found that, when compared with the control group, the rats receiving the ileal interposition surgery had:

  • lower fluctuations in blood sugar levels;
  • improved insulin production, making them better able to metabolize sugar; and
  • decreased levels of lipids (cholesterol and triglyceride) in the bloodstream, which are known to be risk
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Contact: Patricia Bailey
pjbailey@ucdavis.edu
530-752-9843
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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